Author Archives: From Poverty to Power

Where have we got to on ‘results-based aid’, ‘cash on delivery’ etc?

World map

The Center for Global Development churns out any number of new ideas and energetically hawks them round northern governments and multilaterals: the benefits of migration, oil for cash, the Commitment to Development Index and many more (check out the Initiatives tab on their homepage). In recent year…

Posted in Aid & Development, Featured Content, Financing | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Modern Slavery: How widespread? What to do about it?

World map

The Economist has a powerful series of articles on modern slavery this week. Sorry this is too long, but they write so well, I struggled to make cuts. How to reduce bonded labour and human trafficking “The time that I went into the camp and I looked, I was shocked. Where all my expectations and my h…

Posted in Aid & Development, Featured Content, General Global Health | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

The global women’s rights movement: what others can learn, a progress stocktake and some…

It’s International Women’s Day on Sunday, which is swiftly followed by celebrations around the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Beijing conference (I still remember the buzz from women returning from that) and the start of the 59th Commission on the Status of Women at the UN – an annual spotlight on pro…

Posted in Aid & Development, Women & Children | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

How can research help promote empowerment and accountability?

In the development business, DFID is a research juggernaut (180 dedicated staff, £345m annual budget, according to the ad for a new boss for its Research and Evidence Division). So it’s good news that they are consulting researchers, NGOs etc tomorrow on their next round of funding for research on e…

Posted in Aid & Development | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

What would persuade the aid business to ‘think and work politically’?

no image

Some wonks from the ‘thinking and working politically’ (TWP) network discussed its influencing strategy last week. There were some people with proper jobs there, who demanded Chatham House Rules, which happily means I don’t have to remember who said what (or credit anyone). The discussion was intere…

Posted in Aid & Development, Featured Content, Hub Selects | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Why premature deindustrialization is really bad news for development

no image

One of the many positives about development is that lots of good stuff is happening much earlier in a country’s trajectory – on average, falling infant mortality, access to healthcare and education, rights, democracy etc all take place at lower levels of GDP per capita than in the past. Unfortunatel…

Posted in Aid & Development, Featured Content | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Are developing countries heading for another debt crisis? And if so, what is anyone doing about…

Skating on thin ice is an occupational hazard in my job, but it was really cracking underfoot at a recent Chatham House Rules roundtable on ‘debt crisis prevention in developing countries’. The only way to survive is to stay quiet, nod and look thoughtful when people refer to completely unintelligib…

Posted in Aid & Development | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

What are governments doing on inequality? Great new cross-country data

Oxfam and Oxford University held a big inequality conference last week, timed to coincide with Davos and the launch of our new pre Davosbriefing (massive media coverage – kudos to author Deborah Hardoon and Oxfam press team). I generally find conferences pretty disturbing. This one at least spared u…

Posted in Aid & Development | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

When will we reach Peak Inequality?

no image

Post Davos, Max Lawson, Oxfam’s Head of Global Policy and Campaigns, is still trying to get his head around the inequality stats Last year it was 85 people; this year it’s down to just 80 individuals who have the same wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion people. By next year the top 1% will own more wea…

Posted in Aid & Development, Featured Content, General Global Health | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Why Bill and Melinda’s Annual Letter is both exciting and disappointing

no image

Judging by his latest annual letter, if you could bottle and sell Bill Gates’ optimism, you’d probably make even more money than he has from software. In what they call a ‘big bet’ (actually, more like a prediction), the letter sets out Bill and Melinda’s personal version of some post-MDG goals for …

Posted in Aid & Development, Featured Content, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

14 ways for aid agencies to better promote active citizenship

no image

As you may have noticed, I’ve been writing a series of 10 case studies of Oxfam’s work in promoting ‘active citizenship’, plus a synthesis paper. They cover everything from global campaigns to promoting women’s leadership to labour rights. They are now all finished and up on the website. Phew.

Posted in Aid & Development, Featured Content | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Davos: new briefing on global wealth, inequality and an update of that 85 richest = 3.5 billion…

no image

This is Davos week, and over on the Oxfam Research team’s excellent new Mind the Gap blog, Deborah Hardoon has an update on the mind-boggling maths of global inequality . Wealth data from Credit Suisse, finds that the 99% have been getting less and less of the economic pie over the past few ye…

Posted in Aid & Development, Climate Change, Featured Content | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Where do the world’s poorest people actually live?

World map

Has it ever struck you as pretty bonkers that we usually discuss poverty at national level, equating giant countries like India, with tiny islands whose population would disappear without trace in a single Indian city? If so, you, along with happy poverty nerds everywhere, should check out today’s M…

Posted in Aid, Aid & Development, Featured Content, Poverty | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Measuring the difficult stuff & learning from the results

Oxfam_is_helping_to_purify_1m_litres_of_water_a_day_(12451501133)

I’m not generally a big fan of measurement fetishism (too crude, too blind to complexity and systems thinking). When I used to (mis)manage the Oxfam research team and wanted a few thousand quid for some research grant, I had to list numbers of beneficiaries (men and women). As research is a global p…

Posted in Aid, Aid & Development, Featured Content | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed